Filed in Press

Colombia in the sights of Hollywood

From Caras Magazine (Colombia)

[N.B this is a translation so some sentences may have been altered slightly during the process]

CARAS had access to the best kept secret of the cinema in Colombia. Peter Facinelli,of the Twilight Saga, and the actresses Sophia Myles and Nathalia Ramos topped the list of stars that moved to the country for a month to shoot the thriller Gallows Hill. They spoke and posed exclusively for the magazine.

Peter Facinelli does not speak Spanish, but learned to say a word during his stay in Colombia: ‘Ajiaco’, a meal called for all the nights in his hotel. The actor who plays the doctor Cullen in the popular Twilight Saga confessed that he had always wanted to act in a horror film, however, had not found an intelligent script until he read the story of Gallows Hill; and immediately wanted to participate in the project. But there was another ingredient that was called even more attention and was shooting in Colombia. “I had heard wonderful things about the country and wanted to see it with my own eyes”.

The film was directed by the Spanish Victor Garcia, who has been involved in films such as Talk to Her and the blockbuster movie Hellboy. He has several horror films under his belt, and returns to this genre with Gallows Hill. The thriller tells the story of David Reynolds (Peter Facinelli), an American widower to a colombian wife, who flies to Bogota accompanied by Lauren (Sophia Myles), his new partner, with the aim of recovering his rebellious daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos). After surviving a car accident, the three are stranded in an isolated inn where they discover a girl in the basement; the decision of releasing them entails unintended consequences.

“I love the films of suspense, not only to see them but to act on them”, confessed Sophia Myles. The 32 year-old British actress, is a veteran in the thriller genre; in 1999 she played the wife of Johnny Depp in the film From Hell and has participated in two of the Underworld films next to Kate Beckinsale, where she was transformed into a ruthless vampire.

For her part, the actress Nathalia Ramos, born in Spain and raised in the United States, she saw on the film the opportunity to make a character who speaks two languages, English and Spanish. The young woman of twenty years laughs when he remembers the horrible things and frightening by the step that your character, which she seemed to be rather fun: “When I arrived on set they said to me: ‘ Today you’re going to pull cockroaches’ and i responded: ‘I do not have already done so before, it doesn’t bother me that, on the other hand, the cold seems to me to be a worse torture,” said the protagonist of the supernatural series House of Anubis of Nickelodeon, in which she learned to make terrifying scenes,which included act with millions of insects

The genre of the film required a high degree of precision to achieve credibility and realism not only with the makeup of bloody wounds but with action sequences . “I have scenes of battle with one of the characters – says Ramos – . There is a double but i am excited about doing those things. By danger i can’t make some, but tried to do what I can, the action sequences are like a great choreography where everything has to be planned perfectly”.

The Spanish actress revealed that in several of its scenes she was at the hand, literally, with Myles, who plays the girlfriend of his dad. “I got so wrapped up in the character that the paste very strong to Sophia and gave me so much penalty after the jack until I asked forgiveness”.

The production team of the film which had in its majority with Colombian talent, filmed in the municipality of Sesquilé, Cundinamarca ,where he endured long hours a cold inclement weather but the affection of Colombian fans remained excited to actors, despite the low temperature. “My daughter’s birthday was yesterday,” said Peter, who has two more with Jenny Garth, from the series Beverly Hills 90210, “and some fans brought a cake and gifts to the set and sang happy birthday to her; I asked to video them and send it to her.

But that was not all. Facinelli confesses that he had never seen followers more incredible that the Colombians. “One day,during the shoot, I wrote on Twitter that I wanted to eat pizza, and suddenly several fans came to the set with pizza from Papa John’s and others that made me one”. In spite of the hard days of work, the actors found time to do some sightseeing in the capital, including visiting the restaurant Andrés Carne De Res and taste the Colombian gastronomy. “The food here is impressive and the variety of fruits that they have is enviable”, said Nathalia, who became addicted guanabana juice. “I am already at the point where i don’t know how live without it. I looked on the internet where I can buy it cold in Los Angeles where I live”.

Sophia, for her part, declared herself in love with the country and decided to extend her stay after completing the shooting. “I make use of the free days to know more; I went to the Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá, which I thought was amazing, and I don’t want to go without a visit to the city of Cartagena”.

The film, which will be released in 2013, generates a high expectation from now, not only by the fans who want to see more, but for being one of the first Hollywood films being rolled in its entirety in Colombia, with national talent of international invoice. “The team has been great, we have become a family, I will miss them,” says Peter, but not before concluding: “We worked very hard on this film, I hope that you enjoy much as we did making it”.

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Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles & Nathalia Ramos Climb Gallows Hill For Director Victor Garcia

From Arrow In The Head (US) / By Jake Dee

Victor Garcia, master of the unnecessary horror sequel (MIRRORS 2, RETURN TO THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL), has just lined up a new, original horror project called GALLOWS HILL. The supernatural thriller – which is set to star Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles (seen right) and Nathalia Ramos (below) – is being produced by Andrea Chung, David Higgins of Launchpad Production (who co-hatched the story), and Peter Block of A Bigger Boat.

Scripted by David D’Ovidio (THIR13EEN GHOSTS), the story follows an American (Facinelli),widowed from his Colombian-born wife, who flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Myles) to retrieve his rebellious teenage daughter Jill (Ramos). After a car accident leaves them stranded in a rundown isolated inn, they discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement and their decision to set her free has unintended consequences.

Isolated inns? Old Innkeepers? Bitches locked in a basement? Good enough for me.

With shooting in Bogota, Colombia slated for later this month – the native cast includes Carolina Guerra and Diego Cadavid.

Until we hear more, how do you like the setup and people involved?

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‘Twilight’s’ Peter Facinelli to Star in ‘Gallows Hill’ (Exclusive)

From Hollywood Reporter (US) / By Borys Kit

Victor Garcia, who helmed “Return to House on Haunted Hill,” is in the director’s chair for the horror film, which also will star Sophia Myles and Nathalia Ramos.

The Twilight Saga’s Peter Facinelli will star in Gallows Hill, a supernatural horror movie to be directed by Victor Garcia.

Sophia Myles (Underworld) and Nathalia Ramos (Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis) are also in the movie, which is being produced by David Higgins of Launchpad Productions, Peter Block of A Bigger Boat and Andrea Chung.

Written by Richard D’Ovidio (Thirteen Ghosts), the story follows an American (Facinelli), widowed from his Colombia-born wife, who flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Myles) to retrieve his rebellious teenage daughter Jill (Ramos). After a car accident leaves them stranded in a rundown isolated inn, they discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement and their decision to set her free has unintended consequences. D’Ovidio and Higgins wrote the story.

Shooting is due to being this month in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.
Mauricio Ardila and Julian Giraldo of E-NNOVVA Films are exec producing, and 
Octane, IM Global’s genre arm, is handling international sales.

The South American castmembers include Carolina Guerra of A Corazon Abierto, the Latin American adaptation of Grey’s Anatomy, and Colombian star Diego Cadavid.

Garcia has toiled mostly in the franchise horror world, helming such titles as Return to House on Haunted Hill, Mirrors 2 and Hellraiser: Revelations. This will be the first original outing for the director, who is repped by New Wave Entertainment and attorney Jeremy Tenser.

Facinelli is best known for playing Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight movies and also stars on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. He is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment.

Myles is repped by Gersh and United Agents, Ramos by Coast to Coast Talent.

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Paradise isn’t lost on stage-fright Sophia

From The Northern Echo (UK) / By Steve Pratt

In spite of film and TV roles, Sophia Myles has always steered clear of stage roles until the offer came to star in a play at Newcastle. She talks to Steve Pratt about conquering stage fright in search of Utopia

SOPHIA Myles talks of being “out of her comfort zone” in making her stage debut in Utopia at Newcastle’s Live Theatre. It’s an overused phrase bandied about by all and sundry these days to indicate doing something that challenges you or pushes you beyond your normal limits. In her case, it seems more than justified.

She has an impressive list of credits on her CV, both on TV and on film (where she embodied Lady Penelope in the live action film of Thunderbirds), but would appear to have steered clear of the theatre – she doesn’t count a very small stage role when she was 19 – for good reason.

“I suffer from terrible stage fright, which is why I haven’t done theatre before,” she says. “I was shy as a child. When my school did the nativity play, I said the only character I could possible play was the donkey because I could wear a mask over my face.

I’m frightened of big groups in general – rooms packed with people or rock concerts.”

Happily, both venues where Utopia will play – meaning Newcastle will be followed by her London stage debut – are of the smaller, intimate variety.

She did test herself beforehand by taking part in a 24-hour play-reading marathon at London’s Old Vic in November.

Steve Marmion, the director with whom she worked on that project, asked her to do Utopia. “I wasn’t looking consciously for theatre, but my agent said, ‘What do you think?’ and the Old Vic was me testing the water,” she explains.

New writing project Utopia – a Live Theatre and Soho Theatre co-production – is conceived and directed by Marmion and Max Roberts. The cast also includes comedian Rufus Hound in his stage debut, and one of Live’s founders David Whittaker, fresh from appearances in The Pitmen Painters.

The writing team behind Utopia are Michael Chaplin, Zoe Cooper, Thomas Eccleshare, Alistair McDowall, Dylan Moran, Anthony Neilson, Janice Okoh, Simon Stephens and Chi Onwurah MP. The productions will also include material from the works of Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare and Adolf Hitler.

The production continues the artistic collaboration of the two theatres following A Walk On Part, which transfers to the West End Arts Theatre on June 18.

The press release for Utopia describes the piece in the following terms: “Six clowns in a world of blueprints in search of Utopia. From spaceships and retirement homes, to political rallies and Facebook.

No stone has been left unturned in our collaborative quest for paradise.”

Fair enough, but what exactly is it about? Myles isn’t entirely sure. “To be honest, I’m flummoxed,” she says. “It’s a combination of different things, eight different plays within one play. I really honestly don’t know how to describe it.

“You ask the question ‘what is Utopia?’ and everyone has a different opinion. For everyone going away from the play, whether you are in the audience or one of the actors, I think it will resonate on a different level.”

She plays six or seven different people, from a wise fool to a housewife and Ukrainian refugee. The cast of eight are dressed as clowns with white face paint. She thinks she’ll be wearing T-shirt and boxer shorts with an added piece of costume for each different character.

“I like a challenge,” says Myles – and Utopia certainly seems to be that, as much for the audience as the cast. “I accepted the job not having seen the script and it’s very challenging. There’s lots of music and dancing, although I made it clear I don’t sing, not even in the shower at home.”

She’s not complaining, saying its “good sometimes to have a firework up your bum”. She feels comfortable in film and TV after doing it for 17 years and wanted something new.

HER career began when she was spotted as a 16-year-old by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in a school production and cast in a BBC production of The Prince And The Pauper.

Her involvement in school plays had nothing to do with a burning ambition to act. “I was secretly desperately in love with my drama teacher – that’s why I did drama. Acting was not part of my grand vision,” she says.

More roles followed the BBC series, leading her to drop out of university – she was studying philosophy at Cambridge – and pursue acting. Roles on big and small screens on both sides of the Atlantic followed including Nicholas Nickleby, Colditz and Doctor Who (as Madame Pompadour) on TV, and Thunderbirds, Art School Confidential and Tristan & Isolde on film.

She caught the acting bug once she started working.

“I loved being on film sets. I loved the people and the creative energy. That’s very inspirational and uplifting – and where the buzz came from, the process of the work itself.”

She has made films in the US, where she starred in the TV series Moonlight, about a private investigator who’s also a vampire. She played reporter and love interest Beth Turner, then returned here to play another Beth – Beth Bailey – in the final series of BBC1’s Spooks.

“Doing Moonlight was amazing. I was working at Warner Brothers studios every day. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work there in the epicentre of Hollywood,” she says.

“I will definitely be going back. Hollywood has always been incredibly welcoming to me. I’ve tried to have a balance of doing jobs here around the world.”

She’s worked in the US since I was 21, but never thought of living there for good. “In my heart I never left. England is my home. I had to relocate for the TV series, but the moment I finished working I’ve always come back to England. I only want to be there when I’m working. There’s nothing to do there unless you’re working,” she says.

Utopia: Live Theatre, Newcastle, From today until June 16. Box Office 0191-2321232 and live.org.uk

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